$10 Museum Admission

As part of our Summer of Hamilton celebration, enjoy $10 Museum Admission now until Labor Day. Offer good for in-person ticket purchases, not available online. This offer may not be combined with other discounts.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

Object Number: 
1939.583
Date: 
1860
Medium: 
Bronze
Dimensions: 
Overall: 9 x 7 1/2 x 6 in. ( 22.9 x 19 x 15.2 cm )
Marks: 
inscriptions: on back under chin: "copyright 1886 by Leonard W. Volk" inscribed: on back: "THIS CAST WAS MADE FOR PAYSON MERRILL, A SUBSCRIBER TO THE FUND FOR THE PURCHASE AND PRESENTATION TO THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OF THE ORIGINAL MASK MADE IN CH
Description: 
Dark brown patinated bronze
Gallery Label: 
Sculptor Leonard Volk first became acquainted with Lincoln in 1858 when invited to travel with Lincoln's entourage on the train that took him and Stephen A. Douglas on their legendary debating tour. Lincoln promised then that when he came to Chicago, where Volk had his studio, he would pose for a portrait bust. In the spring of 1860, Leonard Volk captured Lincoln's famous image in a plaster life mask, which he later used to create a bust and a full-length statue for the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. Upon seeing the mask, Lincoln said to Volk: "There is the animal himself." This hauntingly realistic bronze cast was made in 1886 from the original plaster mask.
Bibliography: 
Holzer, Harold and The New-York Historical Society. "The Civil War in 50 Objects." New York: Viking, 2013.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Mrs. John V. Irwin
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group